Choosing Good Fats for an Anti-Inflammation Diet
Consuming fat in an anti-inflammatory diet isn’t forbidden — but the key is knowing which fats are good, which are bad, and which aren’t too awful in moderation. “Fat” has become a dirty word in the dietary world, but some fats are not only good for you but necessary for a healthy lifestyle:
Good fats: Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are essential to keeping the good fat in your body in check. Good sources of these fats include olive oil, nuts (almonds, pecans, peanuts, and walnuts, for example), oatmeal, sesame oil and seeds, and soybeans, as well as the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, herring, trout, and sardines. The total fat intake for a day should equal between 20 and 35 percent of total calories for the day, and just 10 percent of those calories should be made up of the “bad” fats.
Not-so-good fats: Some foods with saturated fats are okay in moderation, as long as your “moderation” doesn’t mean daily. Splurge every now and then, but remember that each splurge takes away from the good you’re doing for your body. Sources of saturated fats include fatty meats, butter, cheese, ice cream, and palm oil. Not all saturated fats are bad: Coconut and coconut oil, while considered saturated fats, are actually healthy and beneficial to an anti-inflammatory diet.
Awful fats: Avoid trans fats at all costs. Trans fats are the bad fats found in cakes, pastries, margarine, and shortening, among other foods. One quick and easy way to identify trans fats is to consider the form: Is the fat a solid that can melt and then solidify again? If so, chances are it’s a trans fat. Reading the labels on foods is another way to identify trans fats: Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats are trans fats, too.